Summary: A church that experiences joy is a church where the members have made a full surrender to Jesus Christ and are focused on following Him regardless of the circumstances one faces in life.

A CHURCH THAT EXPERIENCES JOY Acts 16:6-15, Philippians 1:1-2, 4:4

Proposition: A church that experiences joy is a church where the members have made a full surrender to Jesus Christ and are focused on following Him regardless of the circumstances one faces in life.

Objective: My purpose is to challenge people to fully experience the joy that comes when one follows Christ and keeps one’s focus on Him.


Illus: Did you hear about Fred Johnson, a businessman from Portage, Wisconsin, who went on a business trip to Louisiana. Upon arrival, he plugged his laptop into the hotel room port & sent an e-mail back home to his wife, Jennifer Johnson at her address Unfortunately, in his haste, he mistyped a letter & the email went to, a Mrs. Jean Johnson of Somerville, New Jersey, the wife of a pastor who had just passed away. The preacher’s wife took one look at the e-mail & fainted. When she was finally revived by her daughter, she nervously pointed to the message, which read: "Arrived safely, but it sure is hot down here." Clarity in communication is vital if we are ever to achieve the desired results. This letter, unlike the mistaken email received by Jean Johnson, was neither a casual correspondence of travel itinerary, nor was it the sad news of an unfortunate destination.

Illus: Do you remember the chorus:

I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart, Down in my heart,

down in my heart.

I’ve got the love of Jesus, the love of Jesus, Down in my heart...

I’ve got the peace that passes understanding, Down in my heart…

I’ve got the peace that passes understanding, Down in my heart…

I’ve got the wonderful peace of my blessed Redeemer way down in

the depths of my heart…

There is therefore now no condemnation, Down in my heart…

Paul is under house arrest as a prisoner of Rome somewhere between 61 and 63, probably in 62 A.D. He was waiting trial in prison. He wrote four epistles during this time known as Prison Epistles: Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon and of course our present letter being considered of Philippians. Joy is a keynote throughout the letter that this is called “Paul’s hymn of joy.” This is like a window into his soul. Someone said that Paul’s chains sound like “joy bells.”

Paul remembers that this church in Philippi was born out of joy, the joy one can know in trusting the Savior & following closely with Him. Pessimism is not the rule in Philippians despite the threat of difficult circumstances. With Paul, it’s a joy unrelated to circumstances. Paul is on his second missionary journey (Acts 16) when the church was established. At midnight Paul & Silas find themselves all alone in a prison cell. They knew the pain & humiliation of the stocks of the jail. They faced the loss of their life. Yet they rejoiced. They sang praises to God at a time when others would have been cursing & threatening the jailer. That’s joy, that’s not happiness, that’s joy...that’s deep & so profound that nothing touches it. They knew the joy which is a gift from God to those who believe being produced in them by the Holy Spirit because they were willing to obey God being mixed with trials & they set their hope on future glory. That’s why they knew that joy. A strong church developed there even though Paul had to leave the city.

I. FAITHFUL SERVANTS: TRUST CHRIST WITH RIGHT ATTITUDE (v. 1) “Paul and Timothy, bondservants”—Paul is writing to the first church that was established in Europe.

1. A saved heart “Paul” (Acts 26:13-19) “I am Jesus whom you

are persecuting…I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision”—Paul opened his heart to the Lord & many more did as well. Conviction—v. 14; Conversion—v. 15; Commission—vvs. 17-19)

2. A surrendered heart (Timothy) (2 Timothy 1:5ff ) “I call

to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you…Stir up the gift that is in you”—Timothy came to Christ & became a traveling companion during Paul’s 2nd miss. Journey. The was a disciple since he had surrendered completely to the Lord Jesus.

3. A servant heart “bondservants”—Word means “slave.”—In Paul’s day you could become a slave involuntarily or voluntarily. Paul was voluntary & was willing to do whatever needed to be done to serve the Lord & to spread His message to the world. His one purpose: to glorify God & to serve Him fully. We tend to view Christ as OUR servant rather than visa versa—We want Him to do our bidding. When we submit to Christ & do His bidding we find joy. “The joy of the Lord is my strength”

Illus: Charles Stanley, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Atlanta, Georgia, often calls to his memory an incident in his life in which an unlikely person shared a Biblical truth and principle that he has never forgotten. It still provides bread for the journey! Dr. Stanley was in a time of great turmoil and opposition in one of the churches he served. A dear lady, who only had a small apartment, invited him to lunch. It wasn’t the deacon chairman or the President of the Fortune 500 Company but an elderly woman who later turned out to be a living saint. He reluctantly went—expecting her to give him an old-fashioned tongue-lashing. She said, “Pastor, look at this picture and tell me what you see.” He looked at the picture and saw it was the famous picture of Daniel standing in the lion’s den. He described a few other details and became quiet. She then said, “Anything else, Pastor?” He said, “No.” She lovingly placed her arm around his waist and said, “Pastor, what I wanted you to see and never forget is this: Daniel does not have his eyes on the lion, his eyes are focused in on Jesus Christ.” Paul knew his eyes in that prison cell should not be focused in on the cell wall but on Jesus Christ.

Copy Sermon to Clipboard with PRO Download Sermon with PRO
Browse All Media

Related Media

A Joyful Heart
PowerPoint Template
Being Content
PowerPoint Template
Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion